Iron Man: Marvel Begins
The archives here at eol are testament to the fact that I’ve been salivating about the Iron man movie since it was first announced back in June of 2006. However having seen one or two movies in my time, coupled with my nature as a ‘glass half empty’ kind of guy, I’ve been getting really nervous about just what the final results would be. Would Iron Man live up to the internet hype? More importantly (from my perspective) would John Favreau and Robert Downey Jnr have any hope of achieving the level of expectation that has been percolating in my awesome expectation gland for the past 23 months?
For the last few of those months I’ve been wary of posting about the Iron Man movie. Regular readers know that I’ve been looking forward to the film, and there was a real danger of this becoming iromanonline.com if I’d reacted to every new trailer, rumour, or bit of released footage to hit the net (of which I’ve watched, read, and re-watched everything). The fact is that at this point in time any comments that I make about this film will be lost in the glut of reaction which is already flooding movie nerd blogs all over the web… But, screw it, this is my little corner and this post is really intended for you, the few regular readers who’ll hopefully take the time to read this. As opposed to those who are sick of hearing about the film by the time they stumble across this post. Those people wont even read this far, so I’m going to call them assholes, safe in the knowledge that they’ll never hear about it.
John Favreau’s acting credentials currently out number his directing figures by a factor of four to one. But based on his results with Iron Man, I think it’s fair to say that this differential will be one that we see close over the next few years. Favreau understands these characters, he understands their relationships and personalities. He also understands that Tony Stark’s journey to becoming the man, driven to don the metal suit — not the one he uses to save himself, but the one he uses to save others — is exactly that, a journey.
Stark isn’t bitten by a radioactive spider, he doesn’t come from another planet, he isn’t cosmically chosen and he isn’t doused in gamma rays. He has his eyes opened by the sacrifice of others. As such this is a movie more about people than it is about explosions (which there ARE plenty of!). I don’t want to spend too much time talking about the details of this movie, mostly because everyone else is, but I sincerely recommend that you make the effort to see this movie. It’s a mature action flick which treats the viewer like an adult, but manages to be great fun at the same time. I saw it with a mate who knows nothing of the Marvel Comic Universe and he was blown away — I’m sure you’ll be seeing his efforts to explain the film here soon enough — so don’t let a lack of familiarity with the characters dissuade you.
Iron Man manages to start something too. It is exactly what I’d been hoping would happen and have written about many times here on EOL. Iron Man, as a movie, stands on it’s own. But it also establishes that Marvel Studios are putting into action, on film, exactly what it’s been doing for decades in comic books. Iron Man, and the upcoming Hulk film, are indeed parts of a greater whole. Without being overly dramatic (or too fanboyish – if that’s even possible), not only did I see a move today, but I believe that I may have witnessed the first part of a major movie event. The scale of which I don’t believe has ever been attempted before.